Press-Republican

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June 15, 2013

Administrative judge orders ORDA to enact employee contract

(Continued)

LAKE PLACID —

“Without any excuse or explanation, (ORDA) failed to consider or vote on whether or not to ratify the agreement. As a result, (ORDA) will be found to have violated the (Public Employees’ Fair Employment Act) and, by its conduct, to have waived its right to ratify the agreement … unless its defenses have merit.”

‘UNACCEPTABLE’

Contacted about the case, ORDA spokesman Jon Lundin said the Olympic Authority “does not comment on labor or contract negotiations.”

Union officials were more forthcoming.

“Health care and salary are always the sticking points in contracts,” CSEA spokesman Steve Madarasz said Wednesday.

“They went three years without coming to terms and only came to terms when the union discussed whether or not to pull out of a conference we had planned in Lake Placid (last summer),” Madarasz said.

“The leadership of ORDA was aware of the fact that we (CSEA) were considering pulling out and not bringing our business there. I don’t know that that was an absolute reason they came around. 

“But we were making it known that it was unacceptable — that it had been three years without coming to an agreement. 

“Then they reneged on the contract. At some point, you have to have faith in the system.”

So the union filed an employee relations complaint.

‘DELAYED PROCESS’

In a press release, the union said Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration got involved in the legal process.

“The ruling comes despite attempts by the Cuomo administration to interfere with the case,” CSEA President Danny Donohue charged in the statement.

“Rather than both sides saying, ‘We agree on this set of facts,’ the Governor’s Office told ORDA not to agree to stipulate to any facts,” Madarasz told the Press-Republican.

“It delayed the process. It was intentional obstruction to the process. That is apparently the policy of the Governor’s Office of Employee Relations, the arm of the executive branch that negotiates.”

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